Fishing Trip For Wounded Hero A Life Changing Experience

Media Release
Fishing Trip For Wounded Hero A Life Changing Experience

Ultimate Fishing Experience TV Series helps Veteran Transition to Civilian Career

March 8, 2012  -  In 2006, while on patrol in Iraq, Capt. Ferris Butler’s vehicle drove over an IED.  Hospitalized for over 2 years, Butler endured over 50 surgeries to try to save his feet before he elected amputation. The retired Army Captain recalls. “The decision to amputate the first leg was the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Amputating the second was the easiest, and I never looked back.”  As you would expect from an officer, Butler is a natural leader and a calculated decision maker.  Great characteristics for someone who wants to start his own construction business.

The transition from Military Career to Civilian Career can be difficult for a lot of reasons.   2007 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Boyd Duckett understands that, so he was happy to spend a few days on the water Bass fishing with Butler and mentoring his business aspirations.  The two were introduced after Butler’s wife, Laura, secretly nominated him to appear on the Ultimate Fishing Experience TV Series.  The trip timed out perfectly with the Butler’s anniversary tradition.  It was Laura’s turn to surprise Ferris with an anniversary vacation.  Needless to say, Ferris never imagined his wife would hook him up with the fishing trip of a lifetime with a former Classic Champ at a premiere fishing and hunting lodge like Leavellwood.

Known throughout the fishing industry as a successful businessman, Duckett owns several companies, including Duckett Fishing. Show Host, Keith Alan states, “Because Ferris dreams of a career in business, I felt that Boyd Duckett was the perfect Pro to pair him up with.” The two hit it off right from the start.  Butler is a long time fan of the Classic Champ, and Duckett admired Butler’s entrepreneurial spirit.

The UFE-TV crew had a few more surprises in store for the aspiring contractor, so after two days of fishing, great food and hospitality at Leavellwood, Ferris Butler’s Classic Southern Lodge Experience took a turn towards his future.  After a tour of the property, Ferris and Laura returned to the lodge and found Keith Alan and Boyd Duckett, standing in front of a mountain of tools.  The couple was then introduced to Darrell Roberts, Director of Helmets to Hardhats, a non-profit organization that helps retired military personnel transition to jobs in the construction industry.  Roberts, a fellow Vet, thanked Butler for his service and then told him about a number of opportunities that Helmets to Hardhats had that would help him achieve his dream.  He then informed Butler that he was also being outfitted with an incredible selection of Milwaukee Tools, and a huge array of Craftsman Tools from Sears.  Executive Producer Jason Wald states, the partnerships we are building are helping us change lives weekly, it’s great to see these organizations stepping up to make a difference for our deserving Heroes.”

Viewers can meet Capt. Butler and see the profound impact fishing has on his life when Ultimate Fishing Experience airs tonight (3/8) at 8:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

For media inquiries contact Keith Alan at or 407-493-4201.

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3 Responses


Love your work guys!!!


I truly believe these should receive the recognition and help that they deserve. But I also believe the veterans who basically go thru hell on a daily basis should be recognized as well. After noumerous surgeries and ending up losing my left leg, having my neck fused and two major Lumbar surgeries and to top it off dieing twice in 2011. I truly believe all veterans should be recognized.
I by no mean take away the recognition and help these guys deserve but let us not forget all of the veterans.You are doing a great and worthy job and I applaud you.


Thomas, we agree with you 100%. We’ve only done 6 episodes so far. Bare with us…there’s a lot more we want to do.

Thanks for your service and sacrifice.



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American Outdoors Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation committed to creating and supporting programs and projects that provide, improve or enhance opportunities for Veterans, children and families to enjoy outdoor activities.  Our mission is to distribute equipment and grant money to Veteran, Youth and Conservation based programs and charities, and to increase public awareness on the needs of the charitable causes we support

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